Indian outlook

Jogesh Mudras, Informa Markets India managing director, shares his thoughts on the Indian market’s prospects exclusively with EW:


The Indian exhibitions landscape is poised for dynamic growth and transformation in 2024 and beyond. The market, currently valued at $4.7bn, is projected to exceed $6bn by 2026 and reach up to $9bn by 2030. The B2B segment holds the largest share, accounting for approximately 40%. Over the past decade, the country’s exhibition industry has seen an annual growth rate of 10-12%, providing indirect employment to 10 million people.

Key trends

India enjoys a strategic advantage on multiple fronts, being geographically positioned advantageously and being one of the world’s fastest-growing economies. Governmental support and a burgeoning trend in enterprise development have propelled small and medium-scale businesses to venture ambitiously into the market, aspiring for global recognition.

After a positive 2023, India expects to see these trends continue:

Global expansion: India plans to scale up exhibitions, introducing new venues and enhancing the global presence of its industries.

The adoption of geo-cloning: Replicating successful events from one location to another, has gained momentum, minimising risks associated with new launches and leveraging existing brand reputation. International events entering India offer expansion opportunities, aligning with the country’s growth. For instance, this year, Informa Markets is organising India Health, on the lines of Arab Health.

Domestic enhancement: India has 22 major exhibition centres, with the north and west regions accounting for 73% of the total indoor area. Revamp projects, capacity expansions, and greenfield projects at various venues should help create new opportunities in the coming years. Newer venues and untapped markets, in Tier-I and II cities, and zones such as eastern India should also be explored.

In-person exhibitions are here to stay: In India, the demand for in-person meetings and events has remained steadfast but customers now seek not only business engagement but remarkable event experiences. This all automatically leads to augmentation of:

Technology-driven experiences: Technology is the framework of innovation, from virtual reality (VR) experiences to AI-driven personalisation such as buyer-seller matchmaking. Technology is creating unforgettable event experiences. Attendees no longer settle for ordinary; they anticipate a journey worth undertaking, while focusing on specific professional needs.

Data driven insights and tailored solutions: Industry data will be used at every touch point to understand the customer’s journey: Real-time show floor data, pricing structures, digital twins, hologram technologies and 3D content, matchmaking solutions, and year-round activations are all converging to reshape our field, further fuelled by AI.

Sustainability: Sustainability will be the heartbeat of the Indian exhibitions industry in 2024. Renewable energy is now integrated into the show floor to reduce reliance on non-renewable sources and minimise pollution. The goal for events is to achieve zero or minimal waste.

Strategic acquisition and retention of top-tier talent: Strategic HR practices will increasingly harness AI for intelligent talent acquisition, alongside adopting global best practices in talent retention. Collaborative courses with prominent exhibition bodies such as IAEE, IEIA, and UFI are on the rise to meet the escalating demand for skilled professionals in exhibition management, ultimately elevating industry standards.

Employers are also striving to recognise individuals who may not have traditional qualifications. In today’s dynamic work environment, the integration of innovative incentives, robust wellness programmes, impactful CSR initiatives, coupled with recognition awards and team-building activities, is pivotal.